So, here we are. 3 days into my due week and still no sign of little baby 2. Well, I say no sign, but I’ve been in what the community midwife describes as early labour for the past week. Which basically means every day or so I start getting contractions which intensify to the point of having to breathe through them, which settle into a routine of lasting over a minute every 5 or so minutes and last for a few hours. And then, of course, fade away to nothing.
This is all very familiar of course, although I only realised it just now, re-reading my entries from Pip’s pregnancy. The mind forgets a lot over 4 years, but the internet doesn’t, and apparently I was also feeling equally frustrated and let down, and of course, history will show that my body did deliver a baby eventually, as surely I must this time too. No woman stays pregnant forever.
I haven’t shared as much this time round, but I am hoping for a birth centre delivery. I never got round to finishing my birth story last time, ending part one still at the birth centre, but had I written it down it would have included my journey upstairs to the labour ward in a wheelchair, a female German doctor chastising the midwives for letting me push for over 3 hours without anything happening, of an epidural, of all the alarms going off and the room filling with doctors, the end of the bed coming off and finally, after an episiotomy and 3 attempts at a venteuse delivery later, all 8lb 11oz of a baby girl being born just after 5pm.
I was reminded of all this, and how I couldn’t remember it so very clearly anymore, when we were advised to come into the birth centre last night after contractions intensified for over an hour. I wasn’t convinced we should be going, but also didn’t want to go against their advice, but by the time we’d arrived, been admitted and examined, things were slowing down again, and despite being 2cm dilated, were kicked out again when someone needed the bed more urgently. Back in that same centre, same type of room, and using the very lift I’d been in when I transferred to the labour ward brought back some of the memories, but still, that day almost 4 years ago to the day seems very surreal.
This time though, I feel a little more prepared, mentally, for the birth, when it (hopefully!) does come. Although I’ve been juggling being pregnant with working full time and co-parenting, I’ve also made more time to attend pregnancy yoga, to go to a birth class with M and think a bit more about the birth I had last time and what could happen this time round. I’m still firmly in denial as to what happens if I get to the 41 week appointment next week, but at my 40 week appointment this week everything seemed good. There was no mention of inductions, or sweeps, or c-sections, or any kind of intervention at all, none of which I am particularly keen on (is anyone?) so hopefully, last time’s experience is something to go by, and it will happen of it’s own accord.
Of course, the added complication of having an almost 4 year old to care for as well has made things trickier. Yesterday, we took the decision to take M’s parents up on their offer of a holiday for Pip. Despite us having several plans in place, and bags packed for her at home and nursery, I still felt anxious about the idea of having to wake up a friend in the middle of the night, knowing they need to work the next day, and then deliver Pip to them on the way to the hospital. Although I’m missing her madly, and feeling a little guilty at some childfree time, it has at least meant I am soothed knowing she is being cared for.